Is VW CEO Herbert Diess On The Chopping Block? VW Mediation Committee To Discuss His Future, Says Report



Volkswagen share prices have fallen 4.7 percent following a report that Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess could have an uncertain future with the company. Diess had previously claimed, during a board meeting, that 30,000 jobs were at risk if there was a delay in the transition to EVs. And, after lower-than-expected third-quarter earnings, he told analysts that there needed to be a reduction in headcount if VW planned to remain competitive with Tesla.

Reuters reports that Diess’ comments have reignited tensions between management and labor representatives. The report claims that three unnamed people “familiar to the matter” said that a specially convened Volkswagen committee will now discuss the future of the CEO. “Constructive and confidential discussions are currently being held. Possible results will be communicated in due time,” said a source, allegedly close to the supervisory board. Diess’s contract runs until October 2025, having been extended this summer.

Diess has been at the helm of the German brand since 2018. He is the third individual to take the reigns since the infamous Dieselgate scandal that cost the automaker billions and seriously damaged its reputation.

Read: VW Boss Asks Elon Musk To Tell VW Executives How Tesla Innovates So Quickly

Diess cautioned that if the company was too slow with its transition to electric vehicles, jobs would be lost. However, his claim that 30,000 jobs were at risk was labeled as “absurd and baseless” by a spokesperson for Volkswagen’s workers’ council.

VW’s CEO has a friendly relationship with Tesla’s Elon Musk, who once trying to hire the German to become CEO of the American company. Underscoring their relationship, Diess called Musk during a recent event at the automaker’s global headquarters to discuss what separates Tesla from its rivals in front of 200 VW executives.

At the event, in order to highlight to VW’s executives just how nimble Tesla is, Diess benchmarked Tesla’s capacity to quickly switch between chip supplies thanks to their ability to rewrite software. Another key matter discussed during the event was how VW could transform its Wolfsburg facilities to compete with Tesla’s new Gigafactory in Germany.

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